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Sunday Catch-up #44

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Writing about nail varnish and recipes seemed somewhat futile after the events that took place in Paris this week. However, life must go on, even if things do feel very uncertain at the moment…

This week I have been…

Making: bacon and avocado sandwiches for a lazy Sunday brunch

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Going: for a mid-week Wagamamas

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Wearing: pyjamas for most of the weekend!

Eating: Ramen

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Drinking: ale

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Reading: In the Kitchen (still!)

Watching: Season One of American Horror Story – I liked it, Ian hated it!

Buying: my first Christmas Costa

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Planning: holidays

Cooking: two beautiful pieces of hake

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Baking: some lovely almond and chocolate cupcakes

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Writing: the start of my Christmas lists

Favouriting: Twitter – I was glued to it from Friday night onwards

Working on: finishing the book I’m reading

Trying to decide: how many of my cupcakes it’s OK to eat in one evening…2? 3?

Wishing: I could start every day with a sunrise like this one

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Enjoying: this present from my brother

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Needing: to share how good these cookies are

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Feeling: very relaxed after a bath with these bad boys

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Giggling at: Josh Widdcombe live – he was great!

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Sunday Catch-up #39

It has been a funny old week for me. I’ve spent a lot of it dosed up on painkillers and the rest of it feeling stressed and busy. We all have these weeks so I made sure to switch off this weekend as we spent it with Ian’s family. On the way home tonight we stopped off at the ‘Farm Shop’ service station near Gloucester which was amazing and what I think every motorway stop-off should be like…those cakes!

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This week I have been…

Making: a start on my Christmas shopping!

Going: to see Ian’s family this weekend

Wearing: tights and boots

Eating: soft foods after a very painful root canal treatment

Drinking: a cold root beer

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Reading: Cosmopolitan magazine for the first time in ages and thinking I prefer blogs now

Watching: the finals of GBBO and Doctor Foster…gripping stuff

Buying: some midi dresses from Boohoo

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Planning: my half term

Cooking: a trio of mini pies from the farm shop for dinner tonight

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Baking: dark chocolate and cherry flapjack

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Writing: more Instagram posts about pretty skies

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Favouriting: cuddles with this little guy

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Working on: my to-do list

Trying to decide: what series to start next now that we have finished Sons of Anarchy…we’re thinking of Narcos

Wishing: there were more hours in the day

Enjoying: soup season

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Needing: a good girlie weekend (roll on Saturday!)

Feeling: stressed and not liking it

Giggling at: the new Snapchat features!

Recipe – White Chocolate and Chai Tea Bread

After root canal treatment this week, I am feeling very sore and very sorry for myself. Ian has been lovely, making me a huge pile of cheesy mashed potato when I asked for ‘soft food’ for dinner. I’m hoping I will be back to my old self soon as I’m not used to feeling so glum!

I’m not a regular bread baker but add white chocolate and chai tea to the mix and I will give it a go! I love chai tea to drink and it adds a very delicate layer of spices to this bread.

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Ingredients

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275g of self-raising flour

A 7g sachet of yeast

50g of caster sugar

200g of white chocolate, broken into chunks

25g of butter

150ml of boiling water with 2 chai teabags steeped in it and left to cool

How to make it

  • Being by putting the flour, yeast, caster sugar and white chocolate chunks into a large bowl

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  • Add the butter and cooled tea then mix with a wooden spoon until it has turned into a sticky dough

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  • Tip out onto a floured surface and begin to knead. This is a very sticky mixture at first but keep going and after 10 minutes or so, it will all come together

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  • Next, leave the dough under a clean tea towel for 20 minutes to rise
  • After it has risen, place in a lightly greased loaf tin and leave to prove in a warm place (I always use the airing cupboard!) for about half an hour

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  • While it proves, preheat the oven to 180°C, Gas Mark 4
  • Pop the dough into the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and your kitchen is filled with the delicious smell of warm bread!

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Latest Purchases #90 – Dotcomgiftshop

Happy Saturday! Ian is working today so I snuck back to bed this morning with brioche and tea to read a few chapters of my new book and plan to spend the day baking, blogging, pottering and doing a little bit of marking.

A little while ago, I made another order at Dotcomgiftshop (which does the most amazing sales!) Here are a few things I picked up…

First up a fun new print for the kitchen. I like the retro style of this picture and of course the celebration of all things pudding! I was going to ask Ian to hang it this weekend but after almost falling out hanging some other prints midweek I think I may need to butter him up first!

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I have phases where I find cross stitching really relaxing to do as I watch TV (it stops me constantly checking my phone too!) and this ‘Home Sweet Home’ print is a very sweet project to have lined up.

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This metal sign made me giggle. I plan on hanging this in our utility room by the washing machine when we finally decorate it.

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I really like this next item – a pastel green herb house. I saw a similar style in IKEA recently and almost bought it but thought this was a little more unique. It comes with six plant pots with blackboard-painted signs for you to add the name of your herbs on. We always have fresh herbs on the go so this will be a lovely way to grow and display them.

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I can never have too many notebooks and this pretty pink and gold design is a happy addition to the collection.

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I also picked up this pencil box to try and keep my desk tidier at work.

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I love making my baking efforts look a little bit better by using pretty cupcake cases.

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I had to bin my old flask recently as it was leaking so this is a good replacement…perfect for filling with hot chocolate when we go on an autumnal country walk!

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We always need tea towels and I thought these apples and pears designs looked very Orla Kiely-esque.

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Clearly influenced by the same designer, I bought a new jar for storing our teabags.

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Napkins.

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Despite Ian telling me we don’t need any more tins, I couldn’t resist these pretty ones and they all fit inside the big one so they aren’t taking up too much room!

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Some washi tape in pretty gingham designs.

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Some metal candle holders that I plan on hanging in the garden next summer.

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Finally, my most middle-aged purchase (which I am secretly really excited about) is this little gardening set as my knees really hurt when I have to kneel down to dig and plant stuff!

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Sunday Catch-up #34

Well here we go for another academic year! I am shattered after having to set an alarm and get up early again but rewarded myself with a lie-in this weekend to recuperate. I have also been busy booking up weekends to see people and buying tickets to various events so I have some fun days planned in between work.

This week I have been…

Making: a big bonfire in our fire pit which we enjoyed with glasses of Pimms

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Going: back to work

Wearing: my new Kat Von D Tattoo Liner – it’s amazing

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Eating: at a new local pub

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Drinking: a perfect flat white

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Reading: This Book Will Save Your Life

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Watching: Educating Cardiff

Buying: more Essie nail varnishes

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Planning: lessons again and feeling a bit out of practice!

Cooking: a prawn and basil risotto

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Baking: some Bakewell cupcakes

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Writing: healthy shopping lists

Favouriting: Anna’s new kitchen – I’m a big fan of the honeycomb tiles

Working on: time management

Trying to decide: if I should buy the Zara leather jacket I am currently lusting over

Wishing: for more pink sunsets sat outside

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Enjoying: being back at work

Needing: more sleep!

Feeling: the change in seasons

Giggling at: how excited Ian and my brother get whenever we have a bonfire!

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Sunday Catch-up #33

Whilst most have been bemoaning the rain this week, I have secretly quite liked it as I have been stuck inside essay writing…3 down, 1 more to go! We’ve also been dog-sitting Ruby Soho and I have loved taking her for her morning walk and watching her run through the fields, barking at imaginary dogs. Let’s not mention the fact that this was also the last week of the summer holidays and I have to go back to work next week.

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This week I have been…

Making: my bed every day and feeling like I’m getting into fresh sheets every night (I’m sure most other grown-ups do this as standard!)

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Going: to watch Bristol City play

Wearing: my hair in a centre-parting again

Eating: Sicilian sardine pasta

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Drinking: homemade sangria

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Reading: Pop Goes the Weasel (and it’s just as gripping as the first one!)

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Watching: Sons of Anarchy all day errrryday

Buying: a sneaky Birchbox order

Planning: my lessons for the next few weeks

Cooking: my smoked haddock chowder

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Baking: peanut butter and jelly bites

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Writing: on my blog daily again – I hope I can keep it up when I go back to work!

Favouriting: the new Autumn/ Winter fashion on ASOS

Working on: these damn essays

Trying to decide: what to get Ian for his birthday

Wishing: we could get a pet dog

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Enjoying: the rain

Needing: to start getting up earlier…10am lie-ins just won’t cut it anymore

Feeling: excited about starting a new term

Giggling at: how cosy this little one looked all wrapped up on the sofa!

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Sunday Catch-up #32

This week I have been…

Making: pie!

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Going: to watch Bristol City play with my bestie

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Wearing: my new winter boots…in August!

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Eating: one of my Spanish omelettes

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Drinking: this Earl Grey Tea Latte

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Reading: To Kill a Mockingbird

Watching: Jurassic World (for the second time!)

Buying: lots of fruit and veg

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Planning: on making the most of my last week off

Cooking: a new Coca Cola chicken recipe

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Baking: white chocolate and chai tea bread

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Writing: my holiday posts and reminiscing

Favouriting: the Dismaland website, then we decided to just try our luck queuing up and we had the best day here!

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Working on: the three essays I need to do

Trying to decide: who my favourite is on GBBO…Tamal maybe?

Wishing: for a few more weeks of light nights and pink sunsets

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Enjoying: our new lawn

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Needing: to remember the words on my new mug (thanks Lu!)

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Feeling: strangely happy at the thought of going back to work

Giggling at: my lovely colleagues (we had a grown-up sleepover and a lot of sangria!)